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Chronic stress triggers risky dieting

November 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Chronic stress triggers bad eating habits in women and can cause them to turn to unhealthy forms of weight control. That's according to U.S. researchers who looked at more than 600 overweight and obese women.

USA Today reports the researchers found that women under chronic stress started skipping meals and avoiding fattening foods in order to control their weight. However, researchers say that approach often backfires, and women end up eating more and gaining weight.

The researchers say people under chronic stress should try to notice the difference between emotional hunger and true physical hunger. By doing so they can better regulate when, what and how much they eat.

The study was presented at a recent meeting of the Obesity Society.